ARCHIVED - Business Development Bank of Canada 2005-2006

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2005-2006 Fact Sheet

Factors and criteria

Summary of substantiating data



a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place (5%)

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) does not have an official languages (OL) accountability framework. However it has an OL policy that covers the responsibilities of supervisors and managers under Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (The Act).

The BDC does not have an action plan relating to Parts IV, V and VI of the Act. The BDC integrates OL in its daily operations, its mandate and its organizational priorities. However, it has an action plan to ensure the full implementation of Part VII of the Act.

Accountability measures within the organization take various forms: internal audits to ensure the respect of the Official Languages Program (OLP), reminders sent to managers and discussions during senior management meetings.

b) Visibility of official languages in the organization (5%)

The review of the Corporate Plan Summary Report indicated, among other things, that the BDC "continues to respect the Act, and its operations are in adherence to the regulations and policies implemented by Treasury Board Secretariat, giving special attention to the economic and social development of minority official language communities."

OL are integrated into internal audits. During 2004-2005, 35 branches were visited, of which 17 were designated bilingual. The audit consisted of verifying signage, the availability of documentation, the active offer and the service in both OL.

The champion, who is at a level equivalent to that of an assistant deputy minister, is a member of the Executive Management Committee and attends its meetings, which are held every second Friday. The champion raises OL issues for discussion at this committee as needed. There is an ongoing dialogue between the Official Languages Coordinator and the champion. OL are well co-ordinated.

c) Complaints (5%)

The OL Coordinator is responsible for handling and resolving complaints in conjunction with the manager or vice president of the branch concerned. She plays a central coordinating role. BDC receives very few complaints. When BDC partners with an external supplier, it requires the supplier to sign-off/confirm their understanding of BDC’s obligations with respect to the Act.

The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) has not identified any systemic problem.

Service to the public - Part IV

a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (4%)

The BDC’s bilingual services are listed in BUROLIS and BDC’s bilingual points of service appear in the Blue Pages in both OL.

Although BDC has bilingual branches across the country, it does not designate staff positions as such. Therefore, it is not in a position to produce statistics on whether employees occupying bilingual positions that serve the public meet the language requirements of their positions.

However, BDC reported that as of March 2005, 6 out of 48 designated bilingual branches did not have bilingual resources on site. Because these branches are smaller ones, staff movements seldom occur. BDC therefore encourages the employees to take second language courses.

b) Findings on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to the observations of in-person service made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active visual offer was present in 77% of cases, active offer by staff was made in 23% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 46% of cases.

According to the observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL in the fall of 2005, active offer of service by staff or by an automated system was made in 86% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 79% of cases.

c) The service agreements delivered by third parties or in partnership provide for the delivery of bilingual services (2%)

The BDC requires that third-party service providers (e.g. advertisements or Employee Assistance Services) offer services in both OL. The BDC also requires a letter from the third party confirming that active offer of service to users/clients in both languages was offered. BDC verifies that services were provided in both OL through the annual employee engagement survey and its customer satisfaction survey.

d) Bilingual services quality monitoring (4%)

Orientation sessions are given to all new employees and include an OL component. Offices are reminded of the importance of greeting members of the public in both OL and of providing services in the language chosen by the client. Leaders are reminded that bilingual locations are required to have bilingual resources in order to ensure the services in both OL. Each branch manager has a tool called the Survival Kit covering the steps to take for all their OL responsibilities, e.g. how to ensure the availability of bilingual services, their language of work obligations, advertising in minority community media, etc.

An OL presentation was developed and given to some senior managers. During the coming year, the person responsible for the OL program intends to deliver this presentation to all 20 vice presidents of branches across Canada. The presentation reiterates the role of the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada; OCOL; the BDC obligations under the Act as a Crown corporation; obligations referring to service to the public, language of work, equitable participation and enhancing the vitality of OL minority communities.

BDC implemented a training program for first-time managers. The program, called Transitional Leadership Program, incorporates various areas of responsibilities that the new managers will have to handle on a daily basis. OL are a component of this training program. The first session was delivered December 6, 2005. In addition, BDC revamped its virtual orientation site for new employees. OL responsibilities are included in this site.

The reports of the audit done in 2004-05 were forwarded to the responsible managers for follow-up and corrections, when applicable. Through the performance management process, branch managers were evaluated on the audit and on the corrective measures put in place. Moreover, the BDC conducts an ongoing customer service satisfaction survey and reports the findings at the end of each fiscal year. This particular survey queries the participants about language of service.

Language of work - Part V

a) Adequate bilingual supervision and language of work policy (12.5%)

84% of supervisors in bilingual regions who are required to supervise their employees in both official languages are able to do so. (Source: 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages, March 31, 2005)

BDC adopted a policy on language of work and is continuing its implementation. It reiterates the rights of employees working in bilingual regions for language of work purposes to be supervised in the language of their choice. It refers to personal services to be provided in the OL of choice of the employee and administrative measures to be undertaken when required. It also stipulates the fact that work instruments are to be provided simultaneously in both OL. It also indicates that all professional training and development programs must be made available in both OL.

In order to support the language of work policy, translation services are available. BDC also has a second-language training program offered to all employees, regardless of whether they work at a bilingual point of service or not. Although a budget of $270,000 was assigned to second-language training in 2005, $390,000 was spent due to the high interest of BDC employees in that particular area.

b) Establishment of an environment conducive to both official languages (12.5%)

BDC developed an official languages corner in its newsletter, BDC Etc, to enhance all employees’ and managers’ knowledge of the Act. The newsletter is currently published six times a year and includes a page on all aspects of OL. The OL Policy serves as a reminder of the rights and obligations to managers and employees.

Meetings to disseminate information to employees of both language groups are held in both OL. Participants are invited to use the OL of their choice. In general, local meetings at the branch level or Head Office are held either in the language of the majority group or are carried out in a bilingual format. Meetings of the Bank’s executive management committee are also held in both OL.

BDC conducts an annual employee engagement survey. The most recent report for 2004 indicates that 76% of all BDC employees responded that people are treated fairly regardless of the language used at work.

Equitable participation - Part VI

a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada (5%)

Francophones account for 41% of the BDC workforce as a whole. (Source: 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages, March 31, 2005)

b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec (5%)

Anglophones account for 19% of the BDC workforce in Quebec. (Source: 2004-2005 Annual Review of Official Languages, March 31, 2005)

Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality - Part VII

a) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the development of minority language communities (12.5%)

The BDC has an action plan for the application of section 41 pertaining to the development of official language minority communities.

Consideration of OL minority community development is an integral part of the way the BDC does business. Local BDC account managers build networks of business customers and local organizations (including official-language minority business groups) for potential business development. There are also consultations at a more senior level by the Vice Presidents in Ottawa, in New Brunswick, in Quebec (and in 2004 in BC) with official language minority organizations.

In areas/regions where there is a sizeable minority-language business population, specific plans are put in place at the local level to ensure that the minority-language businesses are reached. Examples include Manitoba where Francophone account managers have developed further relations with the province’s major francophone business organizations (Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba, Chambre de commerce de Saint-Boniface, Caisses Populaires du Manitoba, Club des hommes d’affaires et Corporations de développement communautaire) by actively promoting BDC’s services, participating in their events and maintaining frequent contacts.

In Vancouver, one of the account managers is a member of the Francophone Chamber of Commerce. The account manager has also been in contact with the head of the Educa-Centre, which provides assistance to French entrepreneurs. During Small Business Week, the branch advertises in the Francophone directory and also in L’Express du Pacifique.

The Head Office is responsible for almost all advertising, but some local branches can and do place advertising or other messages themselves. The Survival Kit reflects the Treasury Board Secretariat policy requirement to ensure equivalent coverage each time. The Public Affairs department has a national advertising plan and handles a 12-month advertising budget for bilingual placements.

As part of its national advertising campaign, BDC will continue to place advertisements across the country in minority language media; it will continue to enhance its profile with OL minority communities via its television advertising on RDI, Newsworld, CBC and Radio Canada.

Local branches have official outreach plans for representatives of minority communities. For example, in Quebec, the BDC advisory group presented a series of one-day seminars for the Anglophone community; these seminars were offered in cooperation with the Regional Economic Development Agency and included workshops on different topics such as strategic marketing and compliance with ISO 9000:2000 standards.

b) Strategic planning and the development of policies and programs take into account the promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)

As per the results-based action plan implementation of section  41 of the Act, BDC integrates the application of Part VII related to the advancement of English and French in its daily operations, its mandate and its organizational priorities. Through business development, membership in associations, partnerships, financial services and consulting groups, BDC maintains an active presence nationwide in relation to both linguistic groups. BDC considers its bilingual institutional capacity as a competitive business advantage, thereby promoting linguistic duality.

Leaders are aware of the importance of promoting linguistic duality, as indicated in the results-based action plan implementation of section  41 of the Act. A number of sessions on the topic were delivered to leaders who will in turn disseminate the information to their employees.

The Public Affairs department at Head Office is mainly responsible for placing advertisements in various media and it ensures equal status for both official languages.

In 2004-2005, the Halifax branch sponsored $5,000 for the Congrès Mondial Acadien and another $5,000 for the French for the Future/Le français pour l’avenir whose goals are to ensure bilingualism and celebrate Francophone culture.